Posts tagged Star Wars: The Force Awakens
COLUMN: New Year's Resolutions for the Movie Industry in 2018

Plenty of regular everyday people make New Year's Resolutions, but I think bigger entities, namely movie makers and movie moguls, need to make them too.  Annually, including this seventh edition, this is my absolute favorite editorial to write every year.  I have fun taking the movie industry to task for things they need to change.  You would hope Hollywood would learn from those lessons going forward.  Alas, here we go again!  Enjoy!

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MEDIA APPEARANCE: Guest on the 100th "Kicking the Seat" podcast of 2017 talking "Star Wars: The Last Jedi"

For the second time in a month, the hard-working host of the "Kicking the Seat" podcast, Ian Simmons, invited Every Movie Has a Lesson to join the barstool daius for his 100th show of 2017.  Fitting for the milestone century number is the central film of the discussion: Star Wars: The Last Jedi.  Ian was joined by his regular partner-in-crime David J. Fowlie of Keeping it Reel and Emmanuel Noisette of E-Man's Movie Reviews.  The four us go deeply into SPOILERS, so buyer beware. 

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MOVIE REVIEW: Rogue One

Lags of preparation and mounting conflict aside, there is more than enough big-screen excitement infusing the gravitas that give way to pathos.  "Rogue One" smoothly delves into an untold narrative while providing clever and catchy callbacks and nods to the expanded universe we know is on the other side of the horizon.  Fleshing out key history, “Rogue One” instantly becomes an indispensable companion piece to “Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope.”  Watching this mini saga and seeing the seeds it plants makes one appreciate the fruits of the 39-year-old classic’s triumphs even more.

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OSCAR PREDICTIONS 2016: The music and sound categories

Through several editorial features, here is my analysis to formulate my official Academy Award predictions.  In this first post, we look at the musical and sound categories that include original score, original song, sound editing, and sound mixing.  Stick with me and I will win you your Oscar pool!

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COLUMN: Five snubs and five surprises from the 88th Academy Award nominations

As with any year, there are hot topics being debated immediately stemming from snubs and surprises.  Here are my reaction and takeaways, consisting of five snubs and five surprises, coming out of this morning's nominations announcements.

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2016, Awards Prediction, Awards Tracker, Column, Editorial, Oscar Predictions, Oscars, SPECIALDonald Shanahan2016, 2015 films, Oscar surprises, Oscar snubs, Oscar nominations, Oscar contenders, Oscar hopefuls, Oscar bait, Oscar Predictions, Oscar winners, Oscars, 88th Oscars, 88th Academy Awards, Academy Awards, Academy Award winner, 2016 Academy Awards, Academy Award, Academy Award nominations, Academy Award nominee, Academy Award nominees, film commentary, movie commentary, Awards Tracker, Awards Talk, Awards Predictions, Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Picture, The race for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Original Screenplay, Best Director, Best Directing, Don Shanahan, Donald Shanahan, Every Movie Has a Lesson, Minority performers, Michael B. Jordan, Creed, Mark Rylance, Sylvester Stallone, Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, The Revenant, The Big Short, Jacob Tremblay, Room, Benecio del Toro, Sicario, Paul Dano, Love and Mercy, Michael Shannon, 99 Homes, Michael Keaton, Spotlight, Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation, Inside Out, Anomalisa, Boy and the World, When Marnie Was There, The Good Dinosaur, The Peanuts Movie, Minions, Wiz Khalifa, Charlie Puth, Furious 7, See You Again, Lady Gaga, Quentin Tarantino, The Hateful Eight, Best Original Song, Best Original Score, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Titanic, Mad Max: Fury Road, Lenny Abrahamson, Todd Haynes, Carol, Ridley Scott, The Martian, Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl, Ex Machina, Straight Outta Compton, Bridge of Spies, Star Wars: The Force AwakensComment
COLUMN: Predicting the major 88th Academy Award nominations

The 88th Academy Award nominations will be announced tomorrow morning, January 14, 2016, hot off of the weekend's 73rd Golden Globe awards.  I've been following the full awards season over on my Awards Tracker page.  Using that data as the tea leaves and a truckload of hunches, I'm going to attempt to closely predict the Oscar nominations for the "Big 8" categories for the third year in a row.

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2015, 2016, Awards Prediction, Awards Tracker, Column, Editorial, Oscar Predictions, Oscars, SPECIALDonald ShanahanBest Picture, The race for Best Picture, Oscar Predictions, Oscar nominations, Oscar contenders, Oscar hopefuls, Oscar bait, 88th Academy Awards, 88th Oscars, Oscars, 2016, 2015, Best Director, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Actor, Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Original Screenplay, Best Adapted Screenplay, Big 8, Oscar snubs, Oscar surprises, Spotlight, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Revenant, The Big Short, Carol, Room, Brooklyn, The Martian, Bridge of Spies, Creed, Inside Out, Son of Saul, Straight Outta Compton, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, George Miller, Tom McCarthy, Todd Haynes, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Ridley Scott, Adam McKay, Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino, Ryan Coogler, Leonardo DiCaprio, Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs, Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl, Matt Damon, Bryan Cranston, Trumbo, Johnny Depp, Black Mass, Michael B. Jordan, Michael Keaton, Brie Larson, Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett, Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years, Jennifer Lawrence, Joy, Charlize Theron, Sarah Silverman, I Smile Back, Helen Mirren, Emily Blunt, Sicario, Sylvester Stallone, Mark Rylance, Michael Shannon, 99 Homes, Paul Dano, Love and Mercy, Jacob Tremblay, Benecio del Toro, Mark Ruffalo, Steve Carell, Christian Bale, Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation, Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina, Alex Garland, Rooney Mara, Kate Winslet, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kristen Stewart, Clouds of Sils Maria, Rachel McAdams, Josh Singer, Pete Docter, Meg LaFauvre, Josh Cooley, Oren Movermann, Michael Alan Lerner, Matt Charman, Ethan Coen, Joel and Ethan Coen, Joel CoenComment
COLUMN: Who should win/will win the 2016 Golden Globes?

More and more each year, the Golden Globes have become more an a popularity contest than a true precursor to the Academy Awards.  What you're watching on TV is a party thrown by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and hosted by Ricky Gervais in an effort to be loved and share some love.  To its credit, the awards show still garners legitimate attention and ratings.  The winners do get a pretty positive rub and the marketers gain a few more "Winner of..." graphics to put in the newspapers next to their films.

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2015, 2016, Awards Prediction, Awards Tracker, Golden Globe Awards, Editorial, Column, SPECIALDonald ShanahanBest Original Score, Carter Burwell, Carol, Daniel Pemberton, Steve Jobs, Alexandre Desplat, The Danish Girl, Ennio Morricone, The Hateful Eight, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Alva Noto, The Revenant, John Williams, Johann Johannsson, Creed, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Fifty Shades of Grey, Furious 7, Elle Goulding, Wiz Khalifa, Brian Wilson, Love and Mercy, Writing's on the Wall, Sam Smith, Spectre, Simple Song #3, Sumi Jo, Youth, Mustang, Son of Saul, The Brand New Testament, The Club, The Fencer, Timbuktu, The Assassin, Best Foreign Language Film, Amour, The Artist, Best Animated Feature, Inside Out, Shaun the Sheep, Shaun the Sheep Movie, The Good Dinosaur, The Peanuts Movie, Anomalisa, Charlie Kaufman, Disney/Pixar, Emma Donoghue, Room, Tom McCarthy, Josh Singer, Spotlight, Aaron Sorkin, Adam McKay, Charlie Randolph, The Big Short, Quentin Tarantino, Brooklyn, Michael Shannon, 99 Homes, Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation, Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies, Sylvester Stallone, Paul Dano, Mark Ruffalo, Benecio del Toro, Sicario, Jacob Tremblay, Kate Winslet, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Helen Mirren, Trumbo, Jane Fonda, Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina, Kristen Stewart, Clouds of Sils Maria, Lily Tomlin, Grandma, Jennifer Lawrence, Joy, Melissa McCarthy, Spy, Maggie Smith, The Lady in the VAn, The Lady in the Van, Amy Schumer, Trainwreck, Teyonah Parris, Chi-Raq, Al Pacino, Danny Collins, Infinitely Polar Bear, Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Matt Damon, The Martian, Kevin Hart, Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett, Brie Larson, Charlize Theron, Carey Mulligan, Suffragette, Far from the Madding Crowd, Will Smith, Concussion, Michael Fassbender, Eddie Redmayne, Leonardo DiCaprio, Bryan Cranston, Michael Keaton, Michael B. Jordan, Tom Hanks, The Wolf of Wall Street, Todd Hayne, George Miller, Ridley Scott, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Golden Globe Awards, Golden Globes, 73rd Golden Globes, Golden Globe nominees, Golden Globe winners, who will win/should win, Awards Predictions, Awards Tracker, Awards Talk, 88th Academy Awards, Donald Shanahan, Don Shanahan, Every Movie Has a LessonComment
COLUMN: New Year's Resolutions for the Movie Industry in 2016

As I say every year, plenty of regular everyday people make New Year's Resolutions, but I think bigger entities, namely movie makers and movie moguls, need to make them too.  Over the life of this website, this is my absolute favorite editorial to write every year.  I have fun taking the movie industry to task for things they need to change.  I'm sarcastic, but I'm not the guy to take it to the false internet courage level of some Twitter troll.  This will be as forward as I get all year.  

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COLUMN: The 10 Best Films of 2015

I prefer to be strict enough with my mind and my heart to rank the best and not just give some alphabetical list.  This was a difficult list to settle on for an order.  After 84 films this year, I think I've seen all I need to see to give out a complete and legitimate "10 Best" list.  Here are my picks and, in the spirit of this site, each of the "10 Best" are paired with their best life lesson.  Enjoy!

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MOVIE REVIEW: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

No matter where today's "Star Wars" fans come from, all of them want the same thing out of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."  Everyone wants an inspired, entertaining, and compelling fantasy adventure.  They want a return of the emotions, wonder, and heartstrings that stirred and inspired their souls when they first encountered these science fiction fantasies.  With great pleasure and a nearly pitch perfect blend of innovation and reminiscence, J.J. Abrams promised, and now has delivered, all that anyone could hope for with "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."

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COLUMN: 2015 Holiday Movie Preview

The holiday months of November and December stand to close out a strong 2015.  Some films debuting in October may have elected to take an early jump into the Oscar season, but it's here where the race really begins.  Between the year-end blockbusters and the Oscar hopefuls, this 2015 holiday movie season is packed.  Six of this website's "15 most anticipated films of 2015" are finally arriving.  Here's a full preview of this season's upcoming films.

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CHECKLIST: 2015 Holiday Movie Calendar

Here is your lineup of upcoming films for the peak Oscar season months of November and December.  Add these to your calendar or print and slip this list on the fridge.  As always, release dates shift all of the time, so be aware.  My full seasonal preview will be coming soon!  Enjoy!

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MOVIE REVIEW: Ex Machina

"Ex Machina" has much more good than bad and much more surprise than contrivance when it comes to traversing the mine field that can be the science fiction topic of artificial intelligence, especially with a potentially damning title like that.  The high-minded science is there.  The ominous ambiance of implications and ramifications is properly defined.  "Ex Machina" is very smartly created and makes the list of good (excuse my language) "mindfuck" films, joining the excellent and underseen "The One I Love" from last summer.  But, it's still missing that next edge of sharpness or gear to ascend to the next level.  

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EDITORIAL: My 15 most anticipated films of 2015

During the shift from December to January, I enjoy retracing what I reviewed and enjoyed from the previous year, but the trailers and previews for next year's films are starting to make an impact.  I can't help but look ahead.  Every year, I wrote an "Most Anticipated List."   2015 looks wildly loaded with must-see films.  Let's make a new list for a new year.  Here are my 15 most anticipated films of this new year.  Enjoy!

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